Filed under: Features,Not Your Average,Rest In Peace,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
The X-Men defined the hardcore b-boy turntablist movement for a lot of us. Not to knock the more experimental techniques of the Bay, but catching them performing those beat-juggling routines live was incredible – so much so that I was compelled break tradition and give Raida a pound the first time I saw him perform a set. A few years later I bumped into him again at a Lord Finesse in-store signing, bugging him out when I produced my cassette edition of Return of the Funkyman to Finesse for an autograph. That same night, Roc and the Funkyman performed a back-to-basics set that showcased two masters of their craft, tearing the roof off that motherfucker. To me, that shit was iller than Public Enemy‘s stadium tour in 1989. Sure, seeing Flav enter the stage on an ambulance was crazy, but to witness Finesse and Raida in action was something else. Best believe I was front row on some Beatlemania shit, rapping every line and snapping my neck to every snare.
Roc Raida‘s status as a champion DJ is widely acknowledged, but don’t forget about his skills on the boards either. Here are a selection of some of my favorite Raida beats as we pay our respects to the great man. R.I.P. Grand Master.
X-Ecutioners - ‘Raida’s Theme [Remix]’
Former E-Bros member Wayne-O kicks the bio on this laid-back remix to RR’s theme song.
Big L - ‘On The Mic [Roc Raida Turntablist Mix]’
Superb minimalist re-working of L’s ‘Size ‘Em Up’, sporting a scorching scratch hook.
E-Bros - ‘Funky Piano’
Addictive piano groove from the second edition of the New Jersey Drive soundtrack.
Show & AG - ‘Time For…’
Showbiz scrapped his original breezy version for Raida’s somber backing when he was finalizing the Goodfellas tracklisting. Good call.
Termanology - ‘100 Jewels’
Possible his most sinister production. The perfect canvas for any MC to black-out over.
Smif-N-Wessun - ‘The Truth’
Another atmospheric backing from Raida’s catalog, this time assisting the most recent record from this Bucktown duo.
X-Ecutioners feat. M.O.P – ‘Let It Bang’
Joining forces with Knobody, Roc channels his inner headbanger for this speaker smasher for Bill and Danze.
X-Ecutioners feat. Ghostface, Trife & Black Thought - ‘Live From The PJ’s’
Can you ever go wrong with the ‘8th Wonder’ beat?
Roc Raida - ‘X-Men Style Beatz’
The reason I copped Return of the DJ, Vol. 2.
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